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Title:Born to be mild? Cohort effects don't (fully) explain why well-being is U-shaped in age PDF Logo
Authors:Clark, Andrew E.
Issue Date:2007
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 3170
Abstract:The statistical analysis of cross-section data very often reveals a U-shaped relationship between subjective well-being and age. This paper uses fourteen waves of British panel data to distinguish between two potential explanations of this shape: a pure life-cycle or aging effect, and a fixed cohort effect depending on year of birth. Panel analysis controlling for fixed effects continues to produce a U-shaped relationship between well-being and age, although this U-shape is flatter for life satisfaction than for the GHQ measure of mental well-being. The pattern of the estimated cohort effects also differs between the two well-being measures and, to an extent, by demographic group. In particular, those born earlier report more positive GHQ scores, controlling for their current age; this phenomenon is especially prevalent for women.
Subjects:Subjective well-being
cohorts
fixed effects
panel data
JEL:C23
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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